Introduction: The Lion Queens (01:14)
Over 500 lions and other animals inhabit Gir National Park, all monitored by a management team. The world's busiest wildlife rescue organization faces daily challenges and is winning the fight to save endangered species.
Critical Mission (04:55)
Rasila Vadher heads rescue operations at Gir National Park. She and her team search for an injured cub, too small to be tranquilized. They bring him to Sasan Center for a medical examination and clean his septic wound.
Endangered Species (02:41)
Asiatic lions live in Gir Forest; they are physically and socially different than their African counterparts. Populations decreased due to hunting, but numbers are now improving as a result of Gir receiving national park status and wildlife management teams.
Gender Pioneers (02:52)
In 2007, Gujarat began employing women in the forestry department; many doubted their abilities. Vadher was among the first females to join, and assigned at the rescue center. She now leads the only women’s brigade managing big cats.
Leopard Arrival (07:58)
Kiran Pithiya leads a rescue team to remove a leopard from a village hut. The hidden cat is difficult to dart and spectators further complicate operations. After its removal, the leopard joins eight others at Sasan Center where they are examined, microchipped, and released into Gir National Forest.
Emergency Operation (05:59)
Vadher receives reports of a lioness requiring urgent care; medical and rescue teams are dispatched. They tranquilize the animal, discovering a deep, infected wound. She receives treatment and recovers within an hour.
Gir Predators (07:56)
Vadher answers a call regarding a python hiding near a farmhouse. When found, the reptile is identified as a Russell’s Viper. Trapping the animal is challenging, but accomplished; the team releases it into the forest.
Treating a Lion Cub (02:37)
A sickly cub arrives at the rescue center; mothers will leave offspring with marginal chances of survival. It responds well to care and Vadher will attempt to reunite it with her pride after recovery. The center saves many baby animals; mortality rates are high in the wild.
Local Support and Night Patrol (04:43)
Maldari settlements are located in the National Park. Humans have lived in the Gir area for centuries and cooperate to conserve Asiatic lions. The Forestry Department monitors illegal activity; teak smugglers are common.
Family Operation: Rescue and Care (05:51)
Vadher and her team tracks an injured lioness for several days. She has a damaged paw and three cubs; all must be considered. After sedation and treatment, rescuers decide to leave her caged in the forest, remaining near offspring.
Family Operation: Keeping Close (04:47)
Vadher tends to the mother lioness with an injured paw; they spot her cubs after hours of worrying about their safety. The mother is released following days of recovery and rejoins her offspring. The women of Gir National Forest Rescue Team risk their lives to save dangerous and endangered animals.
Credits: The Lion Queens (00:39)
Credits: The Lion Queens
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